Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Wheel Cylinder

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Brake wheel cylinders are a component found on modern drum brake systems. They are the hydraulic component that extends to press the brake shoes against the brake drum when the pedal is depressed. As they are a hydraulic component and subjected to the harsh conditions of braking, they can wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. When brake wheel cylinders do go bad, they will usually produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that service may be required.

1. Mushy brake pedal

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad wheel cylinders is a mushy brake pedal. If wheel cylinders develop any sort of internal or external leak, their ability to pressurize and extend the piston may be compromised. This may result in a brake pedal that feels abnormally soft, or mushy, or a brake pedal that slowly sinks to the ground when it is depressed.

2. Poor brake response

Another symptom of bad or failing brake wheel cylinder is poor brake response. If any of the wheel cylinders fail, it may affect the pressure of the system, which will reduce the system’s ability to slow the vehicle. A vehicle with poor brake response will be harder to stop, especially in heavy braking situations.

2. Brake fluid leaks

Brake fluid leaks are another symptom of a problem with the brake wheel cylinders. If the wheel cylinders’ seals leak brake fluid will be visibly present. You may see a thin film covering the inside of the backing plate, or in more serious cases, drips or pools of brake fluid coming from the brake wheel cylinder. If a leak is large enough to be easily seen, that may also mean that the braking ability of the vehicle has probably already been compromised. Usually a quick visual inspection can reveal brake fluid leaks.

As the brake wheel cylinders are a part of the braking system, they are important to the overall safety of the vehicle. If you suspect that your wheel cylinders may be having a problem, or your vehicle is displaying any of the symptoms above, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic to determine if it is necessary to replace your brake wheel cylinder.


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YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

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Rating Summary
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10,227
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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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